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Tag: Convention Management

In my past three blog posts, I’ve focused on the planning and production of January Leadership Conferences.  Many of my suggestions concerned using your January Conference to gather what you need to promote your big event, your national conference, which most companies hold in the summer.   

 For the most part we’ve discussed what to do.  Today, I’d like to explore who will do these things, and how they’ll get them done.  But first, let’s take a quick look back at the key “what’s.” 

 WHAT:  At your January Leadership Conference, what you want to do is:

-         Collect  quotes about your 2010 event

-         Record leaders talking about your 2011 theme

-         Gather stories you can use at your 2011 event

WHO: Since we’re essentially talking about interviews, you need an interviewer. Make being that interviewer someone’s assigned job. Don’t let it be something someone will get to at some point. If your company has a relationship with a local videographer, consider bringing him or her with you to do it.  If not, designate someone on your January Conference team as the official interviewer.  This should be someone who can devote a couple of hours a day to the project and is comfortable working with the sales force.


1.  First, invest in some kind of video camera if you don’t have one already.  Prices have dropped amazingly over the past few years, and the week after Christmas is a great time to find bargains.  A collapsible tripod is a good idea too.

2.  Set a time and place at your January Leadership conference for the interviewer to videotape Leaders.  A separate room is best.  How many Leaders you interview is up to you, but definitely set a schedule. 

3.  Create a list of interview questions. Then share those questions well ahead of time with the people you’re going to interview. You want them to already have their answers in mind when you meet with them.

4.  Ask open-ended questions that can’t be answered with a simple yes or no. Some examples might be:

-         What is your fondest memory of our 2010 event?

-         What would you say to someone considering coming to their first national conference?

-         Describe what (2011 theme) means to you.

-         How would you relate (2011 theme) to our business?

-         What made you decide to become a Leader?

-         What person or event has most shaped you professionally?  Tell us about that.

As mentioned in an earlier blog post, asking attendees to bring a personal photo they can tell a story about is a great way to get compelling stories. 

It may sound like work now, but it’s truly time well spent. Once you have these interviews done, you’ll be amazed at the wealth of rich, human-interest material you’ve accumulated. You’ll have everything you need to promote your national conference, and build great presentations for it as well.  

Writer/Events Producer Dick Wilson has been adding creative touches to direct sales meetings for over 20 years.  Learn more how Dick can help you at

According to some travel experts, the newest trend to hit the market is “All About You!!”  While this may seem a daunting task it’s the simple pleasures that bring travelers back and gain brand loyalty.

Three key areas seem to be the focus of most business travelers today;


Business Travelers want a “hassle free” stay.  This means different things to different people ~ it’s not a one size fits all.  Travelers want a more customized and personal experience and to deliver this often does not cost the hotel a lot of money.

For example, in the past when a business traveler arrived “after the kitchen” closed, he might be offered a pre-packaged sandwich or dry snacks.  But now, hotels want to “take care” of their guests and will go the extra mile to order the meal and personally deliver it.  Some are adding amenities such as late laundry services, movie rentals, coffee and juice with your wake-up call.  Whatever they can do to make an “emotional connection” with the guest is the key factor in repeat business.


When a Business Traveler does return; hotels want to do everything they can to create privacy for them. Hotels are designing their lobbies to be more comfortable environments offering high tech application opportunities for meetings with clients or colleagues where they won’t be overheard and create small work spaces that blend into the overall feel of the lobby.  Many are expanding their lobby areas and creating “trendy” bars offering wine tastings, small bite meals and privacy.


Once a guest checks in the “home away from home” theme continues.  Recent research shows that guest empowerment technologies tend to increase repeat business.  Some hotels are now offering an iPod at check-in that has a special concierge applications so they can request extra towels, wine, a meal, wake-up calls and a host of other things to make their stay feel more like home.

A flat screen TV and a coffeemaker just aren’t going to cut it anymore!

Image credit: Seafarer

Karen Peterson

When Karen Peterson works her magic, you’re not likely to notice. That’s because it’s her job to think about the things most people take for granted, and then make them happen… flawlessly and within budget.  For over 25 years, Karen Peterson has been finding the meeting space, making the arrangements, negotiating the contracts, and even running the show for conventions, events and incentives with attendance from 50 to 7,500.  Bottom line — if your company’s plans include travel, events or incentives, Karen Peterson is the one who can make it all happen … the thoughtful way … the cost-efficient way … the right way.  Learn more about how Karen can help your company plan your next event here:

Think Before You Cancel

Karen Peterson

Karen Peterson

The meetings & tourism industry is under siege. Recent stories abound regarding American corporations receiving bailout monies and then spending frivolously on meetings and events. This has led some companies to cancel planned meetings and events, resulting in an even greater impact on our economy and jobs. Perhaps worse, those companies are losing the benefits only face-to-face meetings can provide.

As industry professionals we must be ready to offer alternatives to cancellations. I invite you to check out a very enlightening article by Mary Boone in the February issue of Successful Meetings, entitled “Don‟t Cancel that Meeting—Rethink It!” Mary Boone is a highly respected industry authority and author. Her insights may help you, or someone you know, save an otherwise lost opportunity.

To read the article, go to, or click here:

How is your company handling live meetings and events?  Would love to read your comments in the section below!

If your company’s plans include travel, events or incentives, Karen Peterson is the one who can make it all happen … the thoughtful way … the cost-efficient way … the right way.  Learn more at

This blog will provide infomation on all areas of Direct Selling.

Some of the topics will be:

  • Direct Selling – Direct Sales
  • Strategic Planning
  • Direct Sales Compensation Plans
  • Direct Selling Business Plans and International Expansion
  • Social Networking – Relationship Marketing 
  • Convention Production
  • Direct Sales Convention Management
  • Direct Selling Event Planning

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